First of all, I don’t like to throw around the term “trigger warning”, but if you have a problem reading about someone who cuts herself, then stay away from this book. That being said, I thought Sharp Objects was an excellent novel — not quite Gone Girl (this was Flynn’s first novel; Gone Girl, her third), but I can see how her her writing evolved from this to Gone Girl. Now I just need to read Dark Places, which falls in between.
“I just think some women aren’t made to be mothers. And some women aren’t made to be daughters.”
Camille Preaker works as a underachieving reporter at an underachieving newspaper. Her boss sends her home to Wind Gap, Missouri, population 2,000, to investigate the murder of a young girl. Camille had escaped her insane mother and her own dead sister the moment she could, and being dragged back to her childhood home does not good for her mental stability. As she investigates the murder, and links it to another, she also uncovers some incredible horrors from her own past.
The murder mystery part is good, but what really shines is Camille’s character. She is fucked up, in several different ways, but the more you read about her past, the more you understand why. In addition, Flynn’s portrayal of 13 year old girls — how mean they can be, the limits they push – is incredible. The book made me squirm — particularly Camille’s mother — but I could not put it down. I felt desperate to get to the end, which did not disappoint.